Rail danger warning

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YOUNGSTERS who trespass on the borough’s railway lines are putting lives at risk.

This is the warning issued to Wigan’s youths to steer clear of the tracks this summer.

In recent years British Transport Police has seen a rise during the school holidays of incidents of trespass and route crime - which involves items being thrown onto the line.

Chief Inspector Graham Bamford, said: “By trespassing on the tracks the youngsters are putting lives on the line and by placing objects on the line they are risking the safety of passengers and staff on those trains.

“There can be no doubt of the potential consequences if a child is struck by a train.

“For some reason children are drawn to the railway and we often see an increase in incidents involving youngsters during the holidays.

“They may not even realise what they are doing is dangerous, but it couldn’t be more so.

“Trespassing on the line results in delays to all services in the area as trains are forced to slow down.

“While items on the track can leave rail passengers stranded while repairs are made and stranded trains are recovered.”

Earlier this year, BTP recorded an 11.4 per cent drop in trespass and route crime from the previous year’s figures.

This was directly attributed to the ongoing efforts of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams and their work with partner agencies.

And now the authorities are attempting a crackdown ahead of what is traditionally a busy period of the year for rail crime.

Chief Inspector Bamford added: “During the summer months our officers will be out and about across the network, paying particular attention to hot-spot areas to deter youngsters from venturing onto the railway and to take action against those who fail to heed the warnings.

“Of course we don’t want to unnecessarily criminalise people and certainly don’t want to stop children enjoying themselves during their break from school but we simply cannot allow them to put the safety of others and the integrity of the rail network at risk.”